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news 07 Dec 16

Belgium Arrests Kosovar, Serbian 'ISIS Supporters'

Three people from Kosovo and Serbia are among a group of eight people arrested in Belgium and suspected of links to the outlawed terror group ISIS.

Milivoje Pantovic BIRN Belgrade
ISIS fighters in Syria. Photo: Dabiq Magazine.

Two men from Kosovo and a woman from Serbia were arrested on Wednesday in Belgium for suspected participation in terrorist activities linked to ISIS after house searches made by the police.

The Belgian prosecution said the three persons are suspected of recruiting people to leave for Syria and of financing Islamic State, ISIS.

The three were taken for examination on Tuesday alongside five others after Belgian police carried out nine house searches at the request of an investigative judge in Flanders specializing in terrorism.

According to the prosecutor's office, the five others - after thorough questioning - were released. No weapons nor explosives were found.

Recruitment of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo by ISIS remains a security risk for majority-Muslim Kosovo, the Balkan region and Europe generally.

Kosovo police arrested 19 men suspected of links with the Islamic State terror group in mid-November and of planning to carry out attacks in Kosovo and Albania.

During the arrests, substantial explosives, including 281 grams of TATP, 2.5kg of other explosive substance, as well as personal weapons and radio-communication devices, were found.

Reports say around 300 Kosovo Albanians have joined ISIS since the beginning of the conflict in Syria in 2011.

Belgium is the EU country with the highest per capital number of people who have joined jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq, a figure estimated at 465.

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Background

Western Balkans on Alert Over ISIS Threat

Countries in the region have raised security levels and introduced new precautions to counter the threat of terrorist attacks by Islamic State.

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